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Illustrator Highlight: Estudio Santa Rita

Palo and Manu have been working together since they met in 2008 while studying for their degree in Fine Art. Together, they make a powerful team. Their beautiful work is driven by a strong conceptual process and a passion for what they do. These days they are taking their passion for illustration to the next level as they move into more and more animation projects. What we love about working with Estudio Santa Rita is their passion and enthusiasm for what they do. I’ve seen them give the same amount of effort for an unpaid pitch as they give to their top clients. Their drive is unbelievable and is what makes their work so great. It’s also what makes them so great to work with.

We recently “sat down” (digitally of course) with them to find out a little more about them, their history, their process and what they like to do when they aren’t creating magic in the studio together. Enjoy the interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your work
Hi! We are Palo and Manu, from Costa del Sol, Málaga, Andalusia. We met each other in 2008 when we were studying a degree in Fine Arts. Since then our minds have been creating together. We found that we had so much to tell the world and we were the best teammates, — we are the perfect work team. When we finished our degree, we decided to start working together as Santa Rita Estudio. Santa Rita Estudio is the combination between art and design. Every day we create our projects from a traditional way, like handwriting or other artistic techniques. We think, conceptualize and carry out any challenge. Our enthusiasm has no limits. We think that, nowadays, you only can survive doing what you love, being a dreamer and giving your 200% every day.

Describe a typical work day for you
Our studio days are always unique and crazy. We love working in our space and it’s like a second home for us, which is very important. Rita (our dog) is always at our side on creative days; nothing would be the same without her. We start working on our current projects and update our social media early in the morning. During the afternoons we teach a Master’s Degree in Graphic Design and Creativity and give classes.

Which part of the creative process do you enjoy most?
There are so many parts that we like. We love being set challenges by our customers and finding creative and visual solutions for them. The parts of the creative process that we most enjoy are the design and final execution. We love looking at where we started and what the project ended up as.

Was there a striking moment in your life where you knew you had to become an Illustrator?
It’s really something that we’ve carried with us since we were youngsters. Before and during the degree we already knew that illustration would be an essential part of our expression, and it is! It came at the right place and right time.

What mediums do you enjoy working with most?
We use different techniques, like print, markers, temperas or acrylics, although, doubtlessly, pencil and digitalization are the most used by us. We love pencil because it is the most honest technique and we usually digitize it to refine our projects.

If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream project look like?
That’s a very broad and complicated question. Dreaming costs nothing!! We dream of seeing our illustrations in a global campaign. We would love for people to admire our work and say: You know what? Santa Rita did that. It’s a gift to feel needed and valued as a part of the working team of any client. We’ve always been aware that everything is possible with hard work, even if we’re on the other side of the world.

Outside of your work, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
We’ve got lots! We love film photography, restoring old bicycles and furniture, giving things a second lease of life.

What is your favorite show you’re watching right now?
We don’t have any favorite programs... Does that make us weird? Hahaha. But we do love a good TV series, blankets and popcorn.

What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?
A graphic novel entitled “Patience”, by Daniel Clowes.

What is a common creative block for you and how do you get unstuck?
For us, a creative block is a turning point in our work process. It happens most often when conceptualizing and coming up with good ideas for describing the concept. We don’t like drawing for drawing’s sake. We always seek out a concept behind everything we do, and there’s no doubt that’s the most complicated thing. How do we solve the problem? By thinking hard until we come up with something that is powerful and can work.

Outside of design, what do you do that inspires your creative pursuit?
There are a lot of things that inspires us, like the music that we listen, Surrealist Art (we love it), and other artistic movements like the eighties… If we have to choose somebody or something that inspires us, we would say life itself: people we observe in the street, our loved Rita (our lady dog) and even ourselves!

Are you early birds or night owls?
We are morning people — always.

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